Home » Arts & Culture » Outcry Over Nama, Again

As has become normal, the National Arts Merit Awards for this year are already riddled with controversy as the selection criteria once again comes under scrutiny.

Various music lovers used different social media platforms to express their disappointment over nominations lists of NAMA nominees that were released last week.

Categories that raised questions among fans were the Outstanding Album and Outstanding Female Musician.

Fans questioned why Suluman Chimbetu’s album was nominated as one of the outstanding albums yet it was released three days before the closing date of the entries.

The musician released his album on November 27 yet the closing date was November 30.

“How can an album become outstanding yet it was released four days before the closing date of the awards ceremony?” quipped one Reward Muchini on Facebook.

Some blasted the organisers of the awards for failing to recognise albums such as “Zvangu Zvaita” from Leonard Zhakata, Blessing Shumba’s “Ndijesu”, Mathias Mhere’s “Anoita Minana”, Extra Kwazvose’s “Zvepasirino” among other albums that topped chats in 2014.

“We have other several artistes whose albums did well last year but they were not recognised at all,” posted one Precious Gwemba.

On the other hand dancehall lovers allege that Tocky is not eligible for the Best Album nomination saying he has only released a series of singles, not an album.

The musician was nominated on the outstanding album together with Chimbetu and Jah Prayzah.

On the best female musician the name irking the people is that of Agatha Murudzwa.

The gospel musician last released an album in 2013 titled “No Pain No Gain” and has not been visible on the local scene for time now.

Since she got married to a Chipinge pastor she has not been visible on the music scene.

In a previous edition, NAMA organisers came under fire for granting this same award to Pastor Olivia Charamba ahead of Selmor Mtukudzi and Edith Weutonga, two artistes who had been active during the year in question while the winner had released no new material or done anything notable.

A musician who refused to be named said it was a pity that names like Amara Brown, Pah Chihera and Selmor Mtukudzi who did well in 2014 did not come out at the top.

“I think it is very unfair to recognise artistes who are not contributing immensely in the music industry,” she said.

Benjy Nyandoro director of Jive Zimbabwe, an organisation that has been responsible for selling music online, said there was need for the National Arts Council to publish the criteria they use so that no one is left guessing.

“They should publish a dashboard with time updates on the votes.

“It becomes exciting. That is my point. For as long as the criteria is not published, there is no basis for us to criticise.

“All these supposed irregularities anogona asitori (maybe they are not),” said Nyandoro.

National Arts Council of Zimbabwe communication and marketing officer Cathrine Mtombeni asked this reporter to put the questions on email but had not responded by the time of going to print.

Source : The Herald